Posted: 06.09.2012
By Pravin K. Shah
Introduction The discussion about the Samvatsari Day and Jain Calendar is always a very sensitive issue. It requires careful research and interpretation. The article presented here is not to hurt any Jain sect or its practices but to explore the subject objectively. Almost every year when we celebrate Paryushan and Samvatsari day, there is some confusion and disagreement on what day to observe Samvatsari day...
Posted: 23.07.2012
By Indrajeet Mohanty
Orissa has allured almost all the religious cults and sects right from her hoary past, whether for her tribal majority or her affluent mercantile base or her spirit of assimilation, is really, exactly not known. The earliest of the off-shoots of Brahmanism, Jainism made its presence felt in the state as early as the 7th century B.C. Excepting for one historical phase during the reign of Mahameghavahana King...
Posted: 24.02.2012
By Mohan Lal Mehta
Hemacandra's Works Hemacandra was the most versatile and prolific Jaina writer of Sanskrit. Since he composed works in the most varied domains, he was called 'the Omniscient of the Kali Age (Kalikālasarvaj ñ a). He was born in 1089 A.D. and died in 1172 A.D. He belonged to the Śvetāmbara sect. His patrons were the Caulukya kings Jayasi ṁ ha (Siddharāja) and Kumārapāla of Gujarat. The...
Posted: 23.02.2012
By Mohan Lal Mehta
Tattvarthadhigama Sutra Umāsvāmin or Umāsvāti is the author of the Tattv ā rth ā dhigama Sūtra or Tattvārtha Sūtra, the first Sanskrit work on Jaina philosophy. He lived in an early century of the Christian era. The Tattvārtha Sūtra is a manual for the understanding of the true nature of things. It is recognised as an authority by both the Śvetāmbaras and the Digambaras. It deals with Jaina logic,...
Posted: 22.02.2012
By Mohan Lal Mehta
Canonical Commentaries The canonical texts are variously explained by different authors in different times. These explanations or commentaries are mainly of four categories: Niryuktis, Bhāṣyas, Cūrṇis and V ṛ ttis. The Niryuktis and the Bhāṣyas are in verse, whereas the Cūrṇis and the Vṛttis are in prose. The Niryukti commentaries are composed by Preceptor Bhadrabāhu (5th century A.D.) who is...
Posted: 21.02.2012
By Mohan Lal Mehta
Mulasutras Two explanations are offered for the term 'Mūlasūtra'. Some scholars are of the opinion that the term 'Mūlasūtra' means the original text, i. e., the text containing the original words of Lord Mahāvīra as received directly from his mouth. Some are of the view that the Mūlasūtras are the fundamental texts intended for those who are at the beginning of their spiritual career. The following...
Posted: 20.02.2012
By Mohan Lal Mehta
Preface Jaina literature is a vast field and the cultural material hidden in it is of immense importance. The canon forms the earliest Jaina literature. The Jaina canon as a source of cultural history is not less significant than the Buddhist and Vedic literatures. The essence of the Jaina canon lies in the teachings of Lord Mahāvīra. The Aṅga texts form the nucleus of the entire canon. Canonical Texts The...
Posted: 14.02.2012
By G.V. Prof. Dr. Subrahmanyam
The first mention of Andhras is found in the Aitereya Brahmana. Clear sources for Andhra history are traced from the Satavahana Period, i.e. 2nd or 3rd Century B.C. From then on the identity of a composite Andhra culture seems to have emerged under the influence of several streams of tradition from time to time. Buddhism, Jainism, Veera Saivism, Vaishnavism and Vedic culture contributed to this evolution in...
Posted: 27.12.2011
 
Nandishwar Dwip The 'continent of rejoicing', where the gods come together to celebrate festivities, is the eighth dwip. At the four cardinal points stand the four mountains of antimony (anjana) which are crowned by sanctuaries of the Siddhas. Additionally, there is one Anjanagiri mountain in the centre of this Dwip. To the east is Dev Raman, to the south is Nityadyoth, to the west is Swyam prabh and to the...
Posted: 27.12.2011
 
Meru Mountain The whole wide universe is seen by the knowledge of omni-knowledge. There is a Tircha Lok within it. The road leading to it is both long and wide. The height is 1800 y ojans, of which 900 y ojans are on flat land, while the other 900 y ojans are on height. In this 900 yojans the last 110 Yojans contain a jyotis circle, where the Jyotishi g ods abode. The aircrafts of these gods move around the...
Posted: 21.12.2011
 
Shri Astapadji Tirth The first Tirthankara lord Rishabhdev died on this place. If one can visit this place of pilgrimage once in a life, he gets ultimate salvation and liberation in that birth only. Such a very significant place of Astapad is located in north of Himalya. It is 185,000 gau (one say 1 gau is equal to 2 miles or 3-2 km) far from Shri Siddh Giri (Palitana). It is located at the south gate of...
Posted: 20.12.2011
 
Kshetras, Mountains and Oceans 1. Kshetras Kshetra (area) means a place for human habitation on earth. In Jambudwip, there are seven Kshetras. Between each of two Kshetras are one Varshdhar, i.e. a mountain range. There are six big mountains; the names of the seven Kshetras are: Bharat Kshetra Hemvant Kshetra Hari Varsh Kshetra Mahavideh Kshetra Ramyak Kshetra Hiranya Vant Kshetra Airavat Kshetra The Mahavideh...
Posted: 20.12.2011
 
Mahavideh Kshetra The Mahavideh Kshetra is located in the middle of Jambudwip. It is situated between two mountain ranges: in the north Mahavideh Kshetra is bordered by Nishadh mountain range and in the south by the Nilvant mountains. Additionally, it touches Lavan ocean on its both sides, East and West. The size of Mahavideh Kshetra is 1 lakh Yojans both East and West and North and South. Its shape is like a...
Posted: 14.12.2011
 
The world of men (Manusya-loka) The middle world (Madhya-loka) is the only one of the three worlds where it is possible for men to be born. Even there, rebirth and death are restricted to a relatively small area. It comprises: Jambū-dvīpa and Lavana-samudra, the continent (Dvipa) of Dhātakīkhanda surrounded by the 'Black-water ocean' (Kālodadhi), and the inner half of the third continent, called...
Posted: 13.12.2011
 
The Universe Universe according to Jainism is compound of the four primary ingredients, viz. time, space, soul and pudgal. These are resolvable into minutest of minutest parts. They - every one of them - are instinct, with definite power by the virtue of which they are capable being developed in numerable ways through the processes of permutation and combination of these four original ingredients which form the...
Posted: 13.12.2011
 
Areas of the Universe 1. The middle world (Madhya loka) This is also known a the animal world (tiryancha loka). It lies on the circular upper surface in the center of Universe. It is one Rajju broad and long. The other worlds, with their hells lie below it; and the heavenly world, the Dev Lokas, at the height of 100,000 Yojans above it. Mount Meru is at the center of the middle world. The continent, known as...
Posted: 28.11.2011
By Prof. K.D. Bajpai
Madhya Pradesh has the proud privilege of having preserved relics and monuments of art in a remarkable manner. Jainism flourished there from very early times and has left its vestiges in the form of art and architecture. The Medieval Jaina art has characteristics of profuse ornamentation and iconometry. The iconographic details of the Jaina pantheon had been worked out in the Gupta period. The artists were...
Posted: 21.11.2011
By Kurt Titze
"Indian people are essentially a musical people. They use music for almost every function in life; whether it is a religious ceremony or a social function or an agricultural pursuit they won't hesitate to use music to lighten their hearts and make their burden less heavy" (R. Srinivasan Facets of Indian Culture, 3rd. ed. 1980: 48). Music and Dance in Jainism Having come to Jainism via Theravada Buddhism, a...
Posted: 15.11.2011
By Siddha-raj Dhadda
This paper was published in August 1935 in The Jaina Gazette (Vol. XXXII, No. 8, pp. 233-235). During my stay in South India I had the occasion to collect the following few notes regarding Kannada (Kanarese) literature which I give below, in the hope that they will stimulate the interest of scholars and bring that great provincial literature of the Canarese closer to us. It will also incidentally give the...
Posted: 03.11.2011
By Dr. Jyotsna Kamat
The process of writing in India started when letters, words and figures were drawn on sand or on a spread of grain. As time passed, other media came to be used. Blackboards with white chalk or white wooden boards with pieces of charcoal became common modes for expressing the written word. Kadatas or patas were used in religious institutions. These were made of a thick, coarse board or cloth plastered with the...
Posted: 01.11.2011
By Dr. Jyotsna Kamat
Jainism is a much more ancient faith than Buddhism. Jinas or Tirthankars are founders of Jainism. There were twenty-three Tirthankaras before Mahavira, who was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha (6th century BCE) and is credited with formulation of a sect known as Jainism. Jainas laid great stress on right knowledge and right conduct for self-realization. It was a full-fledged sect with well-organized sanghas in...
Posted: 25.03.2011
 
The Symbol of Jainism The Jain Symbol is a congregation of various symbols, each having a deeper meaning. This symbol was adopted by all sects of Jainism while commemorating the 2500th anniversary of the nirvana of Lord Mahavira. The outline of the symbol is defined as the universe (Lok). The lower part of the symbol represents the seven hells (Naraki). The middle part of the universe contains the Earth and the...
Posted: 14.02.2011
By T.V.G. Sastri
Jain Literature and Acharya Kundakunda The Jain Literature is remarkable for its variety and vastness and chronological sequence of events, not merely confined not merely to religious tradition, but also to other branches such as geography, history, science and socio-political studies. Only in the last 50 years, there began research into this literature. Since the nirvana of Mahavira in 527 BCE, Jain literature...

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